Tailored Reminiscence Interventions for Ageing and Dementias In Community Settings 


Project Summary:

Recently, evidence suggests that when older adults take part in activities like exercise, meditation, breathwork and regularly using their memory (in group reminiscence meetings), they can experience improvements to psychological states like anxiety and depression, as well as enhancements to memory and attention. These benefits appear to apply to both healthy older adults and those in the early stages of conditions associated with memory problems, such as dementias including Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Semantic Dementia (SD). In this proposal, Dr Richard Roche, ALL Institute, Maynooth University, will assess the benefits to cognition and psychological health of tailored, co-created interventions for four specific groups in the community – specifically older adults in the local (Maynooth) community, people living with dementia (specifically AD), people living with SD, and older people living with dementia in prisons..

This project aims to continue the previous work Dr Roche has carried out with group-based reminiscence activities for older adults. In Phase 1, a series of discussions/workshops with members of each group and some representative organisations/charities will be conducted to co-create tailored versions of a reminiscence intervention for each of the four groups. This will involve Dr Roche collaborating with groups including ALONE, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Beaumont, Peamount and St Vincent’s hospitals and the Irish Prison Service, specifically at Mountjoy.

Pilot testing and refining of these approaches will be conducted in Phase 2, with a larger study to assess the outcomes for each group constituting Phase 3. Some brain scanning will also take place for a small sub-group. Finally, Phase 4 will involve a wider roll-out of these initiatives via my links with Age-Friendly Ireland and Meath County Council, the national contact point for age-friendly communities.

This will also involve strategy development for service co-delivery, so that the benefits of these interventions can be made available to larger numbers of people in Ireland.

IRC Coalesce-funded project for just over €200,000.
ALL Institute members involved in the project
Dr Richard Roche


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